In Conversation with Naomi Osaka
In a compelling conversation, tennis icon, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Naomi Osaka shares insights from her celebrated career, as well as her advocacy for racial justice and mental health awareness, and ever-expanding business portfolio. Beloved for her authenticity, Naomi’s talks resonate with audiences of all kinds for an unforgettable event.
Elite athlete Naomi Osaka is expanding her impressive portfolio into crypto and Web3
Tennis icon NAOMI OSAKA is expanding her impressive business portfolio, with new partnerships in crypto. An early investor in Tom Brady’s NFT platform Autograph, the world’s highest earning female athlete serves as an advisory board member, and dropped an NFT collection as a way for fans to connect with her and celebrate her groundbreaking career moments. Renowned for her mental health advocacy, she has also auctioned off NFTs of original artwork by her and her sister Mari, with partial proceeds benefitting her organization, Play Academy, which aims to level the playing field by changing the game for girls through play and sport. Naomi’s dynamic entrepreneurial spirit earns her regular headlines in Forbes, Bloomberg, and more, as she continues to build her legacy.
Naomi has also partnered with the crypto exchange FTX, and will focus on bringing women onto the platform and into the future of Web3. In a statement, she shared her enthusiasm: “Cryptocurrencies started with the goal of being accessible to everyone and breaking down barriers to entry. I’m excited to partner with FTX to get back to that mission and to innovate on new ways to reach more people and further democratize the space.” A leader on and off the court, Naomi continues to be an inspiring trailblazer, from her advocacy work to her business ventures and beyond.
Tennis icon Naomi Osaka is a powerful voice on today’s most important issues, from racial inequality to mental health awareness
The four-time Grand Slam singles champion NAOMI OSAKA has transformed the world of sports with her outspoken advocacy for racial justice and athlete wellbeing. As the proud daughter of a Haitian father and Japanese mother, Naomi has used her platform to bring attention to racial inequality and police brutality, and sparked a global conversation about mental health awareness. The tennis icon, whom Vogue heralded as “the people’s champion,” was named to the Sports Illustrated “Unrelenting List,” for using her platform to speak up. They wrote: “In the seven matches it took to win her third major title at the 2020 U.S. Open, Osaka donned seven masks, all spotlighting the names of Black victims of police brutality and racial injustice.” In response to calls for her to ‘keep politics out of sports’, Naomi penned powerful op-ed pieces for The New York Times, TIME, Esquire, sharing her views and cementing herself as a leader, an activist, and one of the most beloved players using their voice to make a difference.
Renowned for her advocacy for mental health, Naomi created an international dialogue when she took a break from her career to focus on self-care. Her decision to take a break from tennis fostered an ongoing conversation about the wellbeing of athletes, and of women of color in the workplace, and she became the leader of a movement for greater mental health care and awareness that continues to make an impact today. Naomi has partnered with Modern Health, a mental health resources company, as the company’s chief community health advocate, and speaks authentically about her mental health journey in empowering conversations. For her enormous impact, she has been named to the TIME 100 three years in a row – in his profile for her, Russell Wilson wrote: “But sometimes, someone’s sphere of influence is so great, they can change a culture, change a society, change a whole world. Naomi Osaka has the power to do that.”
For her strength on and off the court, Tennis Champion Naomi Osaka chosen as AP Female Athlete of the Year
During her championship battle at the U.S. Open, NAOMI OSAKA brought attention to Black victims of violence by arriving for matches wearing face masks bearing the names of Floyd, Taylor, Tamir Rice, Elijah McClain, Trayvon Martin, Ahmaud Arbery and Philando Castile. Her statement was quiet but bold, and when combined with her masterful tennis victory, an extremely powerful statement on our times. Tennis legend Billie Jean King said of Osaka: “She ignited a conversation on social justice, the results of which were bigger than tennis, larger than sports, and in doing so raised the bar for all those who want to leverage the gifts and talents we have to make a difference in our world.” For these combined reasons and more, Osaka was chosen as AP Female Athlete of the Year, one of Sports Illustrated Unrelenting Athletes, and a Time Magazine 100 Most Influential People of the Year. She recently wrote a New York Times Op-Ed in response to those who told her to focus on tennis instead of social justice: "We’re affected by bias and racism, just like everyone else. Why shouldn’t we say so?"
At the Tokyo Olympics, Osaka represented Japan, where she was born, although she has lived in the United States since she was three. “I think I confuse people,” she says, “because some people label me, and they expect me to stick to that label. I consider myself Japanese-Haitian-American. I always grew up with a little bit more Japanese heritage and culture, but I’m Black, and I live in America, and I personally didn’t think it was too far-fetched when I started talking about things that were happening here.”
In addition to her world ranking, here are Naomi's goals for the new year: “work hard, do better, speak up, be kind.” Sounds like the goals of a true champion.
Naomi Osaka became a household name when she won back-to-back Slams at the US Open in 2018 and Australian Open in 2019 . Known for her powerful serve and strong forehand, she is the first Asian player to hold the No.1 ranking in singles and the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam.
Since then, she has broken more records as GLAMOUR named her their Woman of the Year Sports Gamechanger in 2021, Forbes named her the highest paid female athlete ever in a calendar year in 2020 and SportsPro named her "The World’s Most Marketable Athlete" in 2019. She won the 2021 Sportswoman of the Year Award at the BET Awards.
Off the court, Osaka has been pursuing various creative endeavors. Recently, she collaborated on a fashion line with the Japanese label, ADEAM, which was shown during New York Fashion Week. As part of her contract with Nike, she has been co-designing custom capsule collections that are being released in Japan.
Naomi is the proud daughter of a Haitian father and Japanese mother and was born in Osaka, Japan. She currently resides full-time in Los Angeles, CA.